Middle East Fashion Designers & Clothing Brands. Today’s young Middle Easter designers might inevitably draw on stories and references from their respective cultures are designing for a global audience and a cosmopolitan woman of the world. Also the evolving role of women at work and the challenges women face in some Middle Eastern societies can lead to unexpected design outcomes. The regional Middle Eastern industry has grown so much, they’ve come a long way in the last 10 to 15 years. However, the lack of fashion schools and specialist educational institutions remains a big challenge for aspiring designers in the region. But propelling these new Arab designers forward is not only the power of social media but also an increasing number of regional support platforms and initiatives – although there are still relatively few in comparison to those in the Europe or North America.
Middle East Fashion Designers Awards
The IFS award (International Fashion Showcase) is just one of several accolades which are bringing new names to light from the region thanks to the vetting of international juries and industry leaders. Beirut-born Hussein Bazaza won last year’s Style.com/Arabia fashion prize while Bahrain-native Hind Matar took away the Cadillac Design Challenge at the same event in Dubai. Khulood Thani, a UAE national who launched her “everyday luxury” label Bint Thani in 2012, has been nominated for the 2016 edition of the International Woolmark Prize. Meanwhile, Egyptian jewellery label Sabry Marouf — designed by Ahmed Sabry and Daki Marouf — was spotted by the Vogue Italia team after being featured at Fashion Forward Dubai in 2013.
The International Fashion Showcase (IFS)
The International Fashion Showcase (IFS) is a festival of emerging designers organised by the British Council and the British Fashion Council during London Fashion Week. The event is coordinated in collaboration with London embassies and cultural institutes to showcase their countries’ most exciting designers in an exhibition that reflects their nations’ contemporary culture. Established in February 2012, IFS is now an annual event that responds to London’s reputation for promoting and supporting new designers. In contrast to other showcases, IFS engages and invites a range of people interested in fashion from journalists, bloggers and retailers to the general public.